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barbell deadlift

When I first started working out it was for health and to loose the belly fat. Something that I was successful at through running, and later through BodyBeast and Intermittent Fasting. Since changing to Strong Lifts/Starting Strength however, I have gained more weight than I ever have before.

A lot of that is muscle, I am incompatibly stronger now than when I started but a lot of it is also fat. So it’s time to do something to cut that fat again, but Ill get to that a bit later.

My barbell and plate set totals 300lbs, which I believe should be enough for anyone for general fitness. If you want to train for power lifting you will need more, but that’s not my purpose. So when I started I set my strength goals as:

GoalCurrent
Squat 5×5300lbs300lbs
Dead lift 1×5300lbs295lbs
Bench Press 5×5225lbs200lbs
Row 5×5no goal215lbs
Seated Over Head Press 5×5no goal130lbs
  • Seated over head press because my ceiling is low and the weights hit it, otherwise I would be standing.

Its been about 10 months now and I am getting so very close to hitting my goals on my primary lifts. But I feel like it’s time to make some changes. First, I’m sure I can hit my Dead lift goal. But with the structure of the program by the time I get to the dead lifts I am already exhausted from the squats and ohp, and I am finding squatting 3 times a week at that weight to be too much to properly recover from.

With that in mind I’m changing up the program. My “B” workout will no longer include squats, and I only want to dead lift once per week and do those first. This means my Wednesday workout will look like: Dead lift, OHP, Need to add an additional exercise here.

I’m confident that this change will not only allow me to hit my dead lift goal, but the benching twice per week (Monday and Friday) will help me hit that goal as well. Once those are hit, the plan is to shift to a hypertrophy style program (yet to be determined). I may just stay with the program, deload and raise the rep ranges + some other accessory lifts.

Now, as for the cutting of the fat. The last time I managed to get my body fat ratio down it was by intermittent fasting 20/4 5 days a week. I could easily do that again, but I worry that the lack of calories would be really detrimental to my progress over all, so I’m going to only do it on my non-lift days. Specifically Tuesday, Thursday and maybe Saturday. I find the weekend the hardest time to stick to this, its much easier to NOT eat when at work.

As of this morning, I weight 203lbs. My ideal weight is around 170, though at 5’9″ I could go lower, but I think that would be pushing it.

Thats it for now, wish me luck. Have any comments, questions or advice please comment below!

Update:

I’ve decided to change things up a bit more. I mentioned above that I was going to change things up to a more hypertrophy based workout once I had hit my strength goals, but I think I can do both at the same time.

I’m going to keep the basic format of the program, but instead of 5×5 I’m going to borrow from Martin Berkhans Leangains program and adopt Reverse Pyramid Training.

The way this works is after your warm up, you do a set at your heaviest weight for AMRAP(As Many Reps As Possible) with a goal of 8 reps (6 for dead lifts). You then take 10%(5% for Bench & OHP) off and again do another set AMRAP, then take 10% off that and do another set AMRAP. If you hit your 8 rep goal then you raise the max weight on that lift 5lbs the next time.

This, according to its proponents, allows you to both hit strength and hypertrophy ranges while also speeding up the workout, so you can get out of the gym faster.

Wish me luck!

Getting Stronger!

July 10, 2019 | Health & Fitness | No Comments

barbell deadlift

I’ve been through a lot of different fitness and exercise programs over the years. Military PT, half-marathons, DVD programs like TiBo, P90X, BodyBeast, etc. The latter, BodyBeast I did for two years… 6 days a week.

It worked well for me, I built muscle lost body fat, got stronger. However, after watching the same videos 6 days a week for two years, I got bored and reached a point where those dumbbells just weren’t doing it for me any more. I had maxed out my weights, so progress was stalled.

At that point I started looking for something else, something that would allow me to keep progressing. I found StrongLifts 5×5 which is based on Starting Strength, a program focused on the “main” heavy compound lifts. I invested in a 300lb barbell and plate set, and a squat rack.

I’m very glad I did.

The program is broken into two workouts A and B, and is run three days a week alternating between the two as such.

MondayWednesdayFriday
Week 1ABA
Week 2BAB
Week 3ABA
Workout AWorkout B
Squat 5×5Squat 5×5
Bench 5×5Press 5×5
Row 5×5Deadlift 1×5

The reason this is effective is because of the consistent, progressive overload. Starting the program, I began with the empty barbell which is 45lbs. Every workout you put another 5 lbs on the bar, when it eventually gets too heavy you keep the same weight for a couple workouts. If you still cant get through them, take 10% off and work your way back up.

I’ve been at this now for 9 months and I can squat 300lbs. Something that was mind blowingly heavy just months ago. My body weight has gone up, but my waist size has gone down. Chest is bigger, arms are bigger, legs..

I feel and look way better than I did. The only thing really holding me back now is diet and beer. I go through phases where I cut back the beer and lock down my diet, but it never lasts long. Have to get more disciplined.

If you’re looking for a effective fitness program that is only 3 days a week and simple to follow, this is the one.